January 4, 2011

UA matchup: White WR vs. Red DB

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- In past Under Armour All-American Games, the wide receivers have carried a majority of the load for the offenses. That may change in 2011 with the talent at running backs, but it also could remain the same due to a lot of talent at the position. The White Team has a number of weapons in the passing attack, but it won't have an easy day on Wednesday night squaring off against a loaded Red Team secondary.

The players:

White wide receivers: Quan Bray, Lagrange (Ga.) Troup; Amir Carlisle, Sunnyvale (Calif.) Kings Academy; Davaris Daniels, Vernon Hills (Ill.); Jarvis Landry, Lutcher (La.); Malcolm Mitchell, Valdosta (Ga.); Justin Scott-Wesley, Camilla (Ga.) Mitchell County; Jamal Turner, Arlington (Texas) Sam Houston

Red defensive backs: Hasean Clinton-Dix, Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips; Erique Florence, Valley (Ala.); Marqise Lee, Gardena (Calif.) Junipero Serra; Robenson Therezie, Miami (Fla.) Jackson,; Quandre Diggs, Angleton (Texas); Darius Jennings, Baltimore (Md.) Gilman

The breakdown:

The White Team wide receivers are a group of players with a variety of strengths. Bray and Carlisle both are all-purpose backs who can line up in the backfield and take a handoff or pitch into space and make something happen. They also can be flexed out to the slot and make things happen, especially in the middle of the field.

Scott-Wesley, a Georgia commitment, possesses high-end speed and can stretch the field, but he is battling an injury in practice this week.

Daniels is a tall, thin target in the passing game who is capable of winning jump balls. The Notre Dame commitment also possesses solid speed, which allows him to effectively stretch the field. He holds an advantage against cornerbacks, who tend to be shorter than him. He is battling a hand injury that has limited his practice reps.

Mitchell and Turner are both athletes who are capable of making big plays in the passing attack. Mitchell is likely to be a defensive back in college, but his quickness and ability to get open allow him to be a big weapon in the offensive passing attack. Turner, a dual-threat quarterback who is working at wide receiver, is raw in regards to running routes, but he is a smooth athlete who knows how to free himself from the coverage and give his quarterback a target.

The most groomed of the wide receivers for the White Team is LSU commitment Landry. He has great body control, is physical against the press and gets off the line of scrimmage well. And when the ball is thrown his way, he snatches it in the air or is capable of sacrificing his body and making the catch with his fingertips.

The top-rated defensive back for the Red Team is Alabama commitment Clinton-Dix. On Wednesday night, though, he will be surrounded by some fantastic talent. Clinton-Dix has great versatility and possesses the ability to play safety or cornerback, but more than likely he plays safety in the game. He has great instincts on defense and does a good job playing the ball. He also is a physical player when providing run support.

Another versatile defensive back is Therezie. The Miami (Fla.) Jackson product is quite possibly the most punishing headhunter in the entire 2011 class, but he also has ball skills. He has showcased his ability at cornerback and safety during practices this week. He can make a play on the ball or make you pay for catching the ball.

The other two safeties on the roster are Florence and Lee. Florence is a tall safety with good speed. He uses his long frame to deflect passes and exhibits the necessary hips to turn and run with wide receivers on deep balls. Lee is a versatile athlete who could play a number of positions on both sides of the ball. He has performed at a high level playing safety this week.

At the cornerback position, the Red Team had only two on the roster in Diggs and Jennings. Jennings is out for the game due to a concussion, which means a safety will be sliding into a cornerback spot. It is most likely that will be Therezie. Diggs, a Texas commitment, has played quarterback during his high school career, but he is flashing his ability on defense this week. He has a solid backpedal that puts him in position to jump routes. He also has the athleticism to keep up with the quickest of wide receivers.

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